For some, the word skiing conjures up that amazing feeling of flying over powdered slopes at lightning speeds and for the skilled and adventurous, even flying through the air on a pair of skis. For others it brings to mind relaxing in a winter lodge, with a warm brandy in front of a roaring fire, and taking part in the social aspect of skiing, termed Apres Ski. Those of us who have been on winter ski trips know that socializing, dining in fabulous restaurants and celeb sightings are almost as as much a part of the experience as the actual skiing is. The fact is everyone can enjoy a ski vacation. In fact the family ski trip is now almost as popular as the family trip to the beach used to be.
Whether one is there to ski, socialize or do a bit of both, one thing is for certain; everyone wants to look good. Ski wear has become a huge business, with over $3 billion in sales in recent years. Ski shops are continually opening everywhere from the cold north to the warm south, and indeed ski wear is sold in most high end department stores, including Nordstrom’s and Barney’s. Of course, today’s ski wear involves much more than the typical ski coat, pants and basic ski hat. There is the helmet, the goggles, the gloves, mittens, ear warmers, sun glasses, thermal underwear, a myriad of necessary equipment to make one look the part and keep themselves warm and also safe when on the slopes. As mentioned before, in addition to that, one wants to look just as good off the slopes as on them.
As with most sporting equipment, ski wear and accessories come in a wide variety of price ranges and style options. While most of it can get the job done, some models come with a little bit more luxury and a bigger wow factor making it easier to stand out in the crowd. Below is some of the most luxurious and expensive ski wear and accessories on the market today.
10. Hammacher Schlemmer Ski Goggles: $295
These patented ski goggles have a built in wireless intercom making it possible for skiers to talk to each other. The goggles use a Bluetooth receiver with a 1600 foot range. Up to six skiers with the same equipment can stay in touch and discuss slope conditions or lunch plans. Also, the goggles let you plug in your preferred headphones and connect wirelessly to a smart phone so that you can have music on the slopes, and automatic voice answering of phone calls. Fully charged goggles give you twelve hours of talk time. The mirror-coated black lens blocks 100% of harmful UV rays, with an anti-fog and anti-scratch coating.
9. Therm-ic Smartpack RC 1200 Boot Warmers: $400
Skiing just became a whole lot warmer with these remote controlled boot warmers, the epitome of skiing luxury. These fit all shoe sizes and fully charged will provide up to 22 hours of toasty heat to the feet! The remote control gives you the ability to control the heat settings with three different temperature options. Also comes with an impulse control that stimulates blood flow. These recharge quickly keeping your feet warm on the slopes from morning until the lifts close.
8. Lacroix Aspen White Fox Fur Collar: $508
This beautiful collar is sure to keep your neck toasty warm while wrapping it in the epitome of luxury. It is made of pure fox fur and has a popper attachment so that it can be attached to certain Lacroix jackets if so desired. Lacroix is a well regarded, high end ski wear company and considers the sport one of precision and elegance. They try to reflect this philosophy in their products.
7. KJUS Men’s Insulated Ski Pant: $700
These pants have a four way stretch, are insulated and have integrated kidney protection. They come in several different colors including: black, white, navy and orange. KJUS was founded in 2000 by Lasse Kjus, a Norwegian ski racer and noted Olympic Champion. KJUS is known for making innovative, ergonomic and lightweight clothing and uses high quality stretch fabric that makes for easy movement. The company caters to the passionate skier with very high standards.
6. Moncler Bady Mitten: $745
At roughly $370 a hand, these are some high end, luxurious mittens. The Bady Mitten is constructed with down and nylon laque and trimmed with raccoon fur. They are made in Italy and come in one size, in the color Berry. Moncler was founded in 1952 and originally produced quilted sleeping bags. From there they progressed to quilted jackets and outerwear. Today they are known for their high end quality and detail, and now have collections for men and women as well as children.
5. Bally Reindeer Himalayan Boots: $2,495
Bally has reissued a new version of the boot that Tenzing Norgay wore 60 years ago when he took his first step onto the summit of Mt. Everest the highest place on Earth. The infamous boots are still made of reindeer fur, however, the sole is much lighter and they are much easier to lace in this version. Although Bally may be thought of as more of a high fashion shoe company, they began custom making boots for serious mountaineers in the forties. Though this version of the Reindeer Himalayan Boot could be worn to scale a mountain, it is probably more likely that we will see these boots up and down 5th Avenue on a cold, snowy day. Bally, which started as a small shoe factory in 1854 is today one of the world’s most renowned fashion shoe companies, and has added leather goods and clothing to their
4. Oakley Elite C Six Sunglasses: $4,000
These over the top sunglasses come from one of the foremost brands in sport sunglasses. These space age glasses are made of pure carbon fiber which is thinner than the human hair but stronger than steel. They also have titanium hinges, and require over 24 hours of constant tooling to produce. Hand assembled, hand finished and hand polished, combine this aerodynamic body with the Oakley high definition optics and you have the Elite C Six glasses, priced well above your average shades. These are not easy to come by as Oakley only made 250 pairs. Lance Armstrong wore the actual first pair during the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France.
3. Zai for Bentley Skis: $10,000
Nothing says expensive luxury like the name Bentley, and this pair of skis certainly upholds that standard. Built by the Swiss ski brand, zai AG, these are sure to make you king of the mountain. These babies are hand built, each taking over 30 hours to create, using natural rubber along with stainless steel to produce a unique and high performing ski. They are available in classic snow white and Bentley green. Features include an integrated spring steel diamond motif inspired by Bentley’s signature matrix grille, and the Bentley ‘Flying B’ logo on the tips. There are only 100 of these skis in existence.
2. Bogner Amiya-Di Coat With Fur: $12,999
This coat comes from one of the most respected ski wear companies in the world. The Bogner Amiya-Di Coat with fur, is sure to set you far and above the rest whether on top of the mountain or at a dinner table in the lodge filled with friends. Truly a work of couture, this coat is trimmed with raccoon fur. It has a large hood that when unzipped reveals a luxurious leopard print fur lining. Perhaps what truly sets this heart stopping coat above the rest is the elaborate embroidery worked with real Swarovski crystals. The Bogner brand began in 1932 when Willy Bogner began to import skis and knitwear from Norway. Today the brand is represented in over 32 countries with stores in major cities such as New York and Tokyo. Bogner is now owned by Willy Bogner, Jr.
1. Bogner Crystograph Helmet Titan Edition: $19,900
It doesn’t get more opulent than this. This helmet was designed by Bogner designer Petria Kwon and is adorned with over 20,000 Swarovski crystals. The center of the helmet is a Crystal Silver Shade pattern making it harder than most helmets, and features the Bogner logo. The sides are adorned with Jet Hematite, and the front of the helmet is encrusted with Golden Shadow and Black Diamond crystals. One has to wonder, who in their right mind would wear this work of art on a ski slope? Still, if you want to make a statement on the slopes, this is surely the way to do it.